Review: “Nudging Fate” by E.J. Russell

TITLE: Nudging Fate
AUTHOR: E.J. Russell
SERIES: Enchanted Occasions
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Urban Fantasy; Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 224 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 15, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.
Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?
Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.
When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.


Nudging Fate is the first book in the Enchanted Occasions series by E.J. Russell and the twentieth book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. For me, this book was a collection of all the pieces making the book the success that it was. You know how some books only focus on the main characters and then there are the supporting characters that sometimes enhance a story. Well with this book I loved the supporting characters just as much as I loved the main characters and I don’t think the book would have been as entertaining without them. I do have to say that I wasn’t expecting what happened at the end of the book, but I loved how the book was resolved.

Anders Skuldsson is Half-norn (half human-half paranormal or as the purebloods call them aitchers), event planner who is related to the big three, the Norns who tended Yggdrasil, who have forbidden him from interfering with fate. However, if he’s caught nudging fate, then he has to answer to Odin and return to Asgard. He works for Enchanted Occasions and has a whole staff of half-norns. After a mishap with their last event, they haven’t been hired in over a year. Then the Faerie Queen hires Enchanted Occasions for the Courting, Coronation, and Handfasting of his Royal Highness Reyner of Maidencourt, the One True Prince of Faerie and specifies that Andy is to be the person in charge. Andy will do anything in his power to make the event a success. And he will be tested at every turn with the special requests and limitations made by the candidates for being the Prince’s Consort. When something happens that makes all of the candidates indisposed for the first date with Prince Reyner, Andy does the only thing that he can think of—he pretends to be one of the candidates and goes on the date with the prince. He had no idea that the prince would be so handsome and that they would have such powerful chemistry. It’s only supposed to be one time, but circumstances keep pushing them together, so what’s an event planner supposed to do? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Conall of Odstone is the half-brother of Prince Reyner, but his life has never been as easy or fun as his half-brother’s life. Conall is a half-norn, which means that he is pretty much beneath anyones notice and makes him the court outcast. He’s the product of the Faerie Queen’s consort and the court herbalist. Conall and Reyner were conceived on the same day, born on the same hour, and named in the same ceremony. Although Reyner’s naming day gifts of charm, wit, and beauty were a far cry to Conall’s inconvenient gift of responsibility. However, he wouldn’t even have gotten that one if it wasn’t for a wand’s misfire.

Conall did get three things out of his birth, his mother, Reyner, and Talus (an old world Knight made of squeaky Iron who will make you laugh). With the help of a spell, Conall can look like his half-brother and impersonate him and go to the functions that Reyner doesn’t want to go to. Which just happens to include the event that his mother has planned. Reyner is supposed to pick out his consort from the candidates that his mother has picked, but as Reyner is a bit of a playboy and has already slept with all of them except for one, he tells his brother just to pick whichever one he wants. Reyner doesn’t care since he doesn’t love any of them and doesn’t have much of a choice. So posing as the prince, Conall goes on his dates, but he isn’t expecting to be so attracted to the candidate, Andy. Conall didn’t plan on falling for Andy and even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by, well, Fate.

I can’t wait to read more books in the Enchanted Occasions series. And I still haven’t been disappointed yet by any of the books in the Dreamspun Beyond series.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A Breath of Innocence” by K.A. Merikan

TITLE: A Breath of Innocence
AUTHOR: K.A. Merikan
SERIES: Guns n’ Boys
PUBLISHER: Acerbi&Villani ltd
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 400 pages
RELEASE DATE: May14, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book

BLURB:

“I would wait a lifetime for this.”
“You don’t have to wait anymore. I want you.”
Mark is done with flings. He is looking for something real, and he knows just where to find it. Years ago, he fell in love with Charlotte Elswood, but after saving her life, he made the difficult choice to stay in a cartel for the sake of his family.
Now, free of the bloodstained work, he’s ready to rekindle what he’s lost.
But in England, he meets someone who is also blond, blue-eyed, and irresistible. Problem is, Griffith Elswood is Charlotte’s brother. Should Mark even consider putting his hands all over an innocent who would push him away if he knew what kind of monster Mark is?
After years of homeschooling, Griffith wants nothing more than to finally spread his wings at university. Secretly, he dreams of meeting a man he can fall madly in love with. A man he would have all the firsts with. But it’s hard to trust anyone after witnessing his sister’s heartbreak.
When Mark moves in next door, Griffith reaches out despite his sister’s warnings. Mark is mysterious, experienced, cocky, and just oh-so-dreamy. Alternating between hot and cold, Mark’s presence sends Griffith into a frenzy of passion like he’s never known before. So hot in fact, it might just burn him if he isn’t careful.
WARNING: Adult content. Scorching hot, explicit love scenes. Dark humor.


Mark had been adopted (kind of) by Domenico and Seth at sixteen. He met Charlotte when he was seventeen and fell in love with her before saving her life but choose to stay with his family. After 3 years with his family, Mark chooses to find Charlotte and maybe finally having his happy ending with her. He didn’t expect to find her engaged with another guy and hating him. He also didn’t expect to meet her younger brother who, with his blue eyes and porcelain skin, will win Mark’s heart.

Griffith Elswood is the younger brother of Charlotte. After the disappearance of his sister during a family trip in Colombia, his parents sheltered him from the outside world. For the first time at eighteen, he can spread his wings and discover the world and more importantly, himself!

When Mark and Griff meet they don’t expect to find their dreams in each other, but how to have a future when the secrets of the past can destroy them?
A Breath of Innocence is book 8 in Guns N’ Boys series.
I was waiting for this book for soooooooo long, (since I met Mark in “Swamp Blood: Guns N’Boys #4”) and the authors gave me something that I didn’t expect at all.

I adore Mark, I saw him grow up through the books in the series. I read his evolution, and I completely adore the man he becomes. He’s very strong, loyal, protective and fierce. He had to grow up sooner than other kids, and even if the education that Dom and Seth gave him isn’t conventional at all, he still becomes a good person (even if he can kill you in one move). In this book, I met a mature Mark, a young man who tries to have a “normal” life and tries to be responsible and make the good choices. I was proud of him after what he’d been through since he becomes a beautiful, strong man.

Griff is the incarnation of innocence. He’s so young, so naïve that I want to protect him. He’s confused when he meets Mark. Griff isn’t out, he’s still processing his sexuality, so when he meets Mark, he’s confused and lost. He’s so shy and pure, I completely melted with him. All the book, I saw him evolve and spread his wings and just fly (yep I can do poesy)
The story, the plot, the writing, the dynamic are completely different from the previous books in the series, but it can’t be read as a standalone though. The plot is focused on Mark and Griff’s relationship, their meeting and how they build their story between secrets, fears and big revelations (reaaaad it). But, it’s not a copy of Dom/Seth’s couple, it’s not mini-Dom (Mark) meeting mini-Seth (Griff). Mark and Griff are unique, their couple and their dynamic are completely different,besides there’s only one Domenico and Seth in the world… and it’s enough.

This book was literally a Breath of Innocence in the series (pun totally intended). Some scenes were probably the most beautiful scenes that the authors have written in this series, with an erotica and poetic’s dimension it was absolutely breathtaking.
It was an opera, the authors were the sopranos, and the characters were the ballerinos, they dance the entire book: sometimes together, sometimes alone but always in tune with their hearts.

I highly recommend this book, it’s a beautiful artistically addition to the series.

5 OptimuMMs for the ballerino and his photographer.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Risk” by Baylin Crow

TITLE: Risk
AUTHOR: Baylin Crow
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Baylin Crow
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Gay For You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 260 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 25, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book

BLURB:

We never should’ve been anything more than roommates.
DREW: Life dealing me a hard blow is nothing new. What’s one more sucker punch?
When my uncle offers me a job working at his MMA training center, I jump at the chance to turn my life around…not upside down and questioning everything I know about myself.
Light Heavyweight Champion Asher Ramsey is the definition of a ladies’ man. His stormy gray eyes and inked skin call to the artist in me and make me itch for my pencils and sketch pad so I can capture every detail. If I’m honest, they make me itch to touch every detail too, which confuses me.
After he offers to let me stay in his guest room, I discover there’s more to Asher than he allows the world to see.
ASHER: My life is a lie. A play written and directed by my PR manager.
With the biggest fight of my career only weeks away, my focus is on securing my title. Losing my belt to some new up-and-comer isn’t an option, and I can’t afford any distractions. Or an unwanted attraction.
When Drew begins working at the gym where I train, my priorities waver. To make things worse, I offer to let him stay with me until he finds a place of his own. It’ll be fine. Sure, I’m attracted to him, but I’m an expert at hiding behind the mask of a straight man. Besides, he’s completely off-limits. Not that it matters–we don’t even play for the same team.
What’s the worst that can happen?


Drew is 23 years-old, but he had a rough start and tries his best to make a better life for himeself. He’s tired of surviving day to day like he has for the past few years. That’s why he asked his uncle Pete if he has a job for him at his training center.
Asher is 28 years-old, a Light Heavyweight champion, and a womanizer… at least that’s what the world thinks. Asher is gay and in the closet, coming out means the death of his career and he can’t risk it.
When Drew and Asher meet, a strong attraction sparks between them. If Asher is gay and knows that he can’t act on it because of his career, Drew is completely lost, he’s straight and had never been interested in a guy, even now except for Ash.
Can they risk their future for something as uncertain as love?

You all know that a book with a fighter and I’m a goner, so it’s not a surprise for you if I told you that I loved this book, but it was a good surprise for me since it was my first time with this author (not my last).

Drew is straight until he meets Ash, and at first, he becomes friends with the guy. Drew is impressed by Ash, but when they become roommates, Drew understands that he’s attracted to this man. He’s confused, he’s always been attracted to women, and never saw men in a sexual way, but Ash broke all his certainties. I love Drew, he’s funny, smart, and strong, very strong, maybe not physically but mentally he’s stronger than any fighter. At first, he’s completely lost and confused about Ash, but he takes his courage (in a bottle of tequila), and he acts on his attraction. I loved it. Even if he didn’t jump on the gay rainbow at first, even if he back-pedals sometimes, when he stops fighting it, he’s at one-hundred percent on board and ready to fight hard for Ash.

Ash is gay, and in the closet. His parents disowned him when he came out to the family. He works hard on his career, to be on top, so he can’t risk losing it because of his sexuality. He was attracted to Drew the minute he saw him, but refuses to try anything because of Pete, his trainer and Drew’s uncle, and also because Drew is straight. Nonetheless, Ash can’t help but be with Drew as friend, as lover, but not like what Drew really wants. I love Ash, he’s a fighter, physically very strong, his body is a powerful machine, but when it comes to his heart, he’s fragile. I love this duality in him, how he hides behind his strong appearance and a kind heart. That doesn’t mean he’s weak, not at all, he’s just scared and had to almost lose everything before understanding what really matters for him, and then, the strong, determined and confident fighter is back.

I love these 2 guys, they were adorable and enter in my “favorite couple” list.
It was a very good read, I loved the plot and the characters, I loved the author’s style too. The writing was dynamic and fresh, not repetitive or boring, and we alternate between Drew and Ash’s pov.

It was a good gay-for-you book, with angst (not too much thank you!), misunderstanding, but also love and a beautiful happy ending.
I highly recommend this book, it’s a great read, and you will have a very good moment with them.

5 OptimuMMs for the artist and his fighter!

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Ben’s Rainbow” by Victoria Sue

TITLE: Ben’s Rainbow
AUTHOR: Victoria Sue
SERIES: Rainbow key
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Disability
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 218 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 1, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 e-book

BLURB:

Benedict Keeler was one of America’s most popular models. Hot body, hot career, and super-hot boyfriend, until a devastating house fire destroyed his face and his dreams. After being told all his life that a pretty face is the measure of his worth, he can’t face another rejection and runs from his lover, eventually hiding out on Rainbow Key.
Zachary Jones, a highly sought after photographer—even if he would rather shoot the homeless in Manhattan than a fashion spread—is now facing the real possibility that a genetic disease will render him blind and his days behind a camera may be over.
Two devastated men, one haunted by his past and one convinced he has no future. Will they both hide from the world, or will they give love, and each other, a second chance?


Benedict Keller was one of the most popular models of his generation. He had everything, money, celebrity and a hot boyfriend who loved him more than anything. He had everything to be happy until a fire in a hotel room, and Ben had been burned, his face and body had been hurt and damaged…irrevocably. Ben disappeared off the face of the earth and took refuge in Rainbow Key.

Zachary Jones is a very talented photographer. He’s very engaged in the humanitarian cause and only takes model’s shoots for money and his beautiful boyfriend Ben. For 4 years, Zack throws himself into his work, forgetting himself since he lost his man. But when he loses his left eye because of a genetic disease and he’s risks losing his right eye, Zack is sent by his brother, to Rainbow Key hotel to recover.
Two broken men will have to face their past, their fear, and their regrets if they want to heal their two broken hearts.
Will a second chance be enough for their happy ending?

Ben’s Rainbow is book 3 of the Rainbow Key Series.
I loved this book, it’s, for now, my favorite of the series.
Ben always intrigued me, I wanted to know more about him, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Ben was a model, a successful model until a fire damaged his face and he ran away from everyone. He broke my heart but also pissed me off. At first, during my read, I was pissed at him because I didn’t understand why he ran away from Zack when he was hurt by the fire. But the more I read and the more Ben revealed himself, his past, his trauma and his fears, he broke my heart. Even when he acted stupidly (can’t tell you more) I was a little bit upset, but not pissed because in a way I understood him better.

Zack got my heart completely. He was so in love with Ben, so devoted to him, and he was devastated by his disappearance. He moved earth and sky to find him, turned over every rock in every city to find the love of his life, and when he gave up, he lost his eye and threatened to become completely blind if he didn’t treat the other. I was broken for him, devastated for him, and I was outraged for him. But when he had the chance to be happy again with Ben, he didn’t hold back, didn’t run, he just embraced this chance, completely and totally. This guy is fabulous, and he’s my new obsession (until the next book of the author… I know I’m so easy).

I adored this book, I loved how the author wrote it. At first, it was easy to make Ben the bad guy in his relationship with Zack. But the author manages to give us information about Ben’s past and why he acted like that. She did it bit by bit, like a striptease, the more we read, the more Ben and Zack reconnect, and the more Ben strips out his secrets in front of Zack and Us. I kind of re-fall in love with Ben at the same time Zack did. She makes the plot evolve with the characters and not the other way, and I loved it!

I also love the fact that the characters already know each other, already have a past, and a story. They have to reconnect to each other and to open their eyes (no pun intended) about their past and their mistakes. Zack is threatened of becoming completely blind but he’s never been as farseeing than now (pun totally intended here!).

The book can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend to read the entire series, each book is completely different from the previous, and it’s another good point to start it.

5 OptimuMMs… Because I’m so team Zack and Ben

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Plummet to Soar” by Z.A Maxfield

TITLE: Plummet to Soar
AUTHOR: Z.A Maxfield
SERIES: Plummet to Soar
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C Chase
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback

BLURB:

Feckless, luckless, and charming, Mackenzie Detweiler is the author of a self-help book one reviewer calls “the most misbegotten motivational tool since Mein Kampf.” He’s maneuvered himself into a career as a life coach, but more often than not, his advice is bad. Really bad.
It’s even getting people hurt… and Mackenzie sued.
It falls to Mackenzie’s long-suffering editor, JD Chambers, to deliver the bad news. He chooses to do so face-to-face—to see if the spark he senses between them is real when they’re together in the flesh. Unfortunately, a snowstorm, a case of nerves, a case of mistaken identity, and finally a murder get in the way of a potential enemies-to-lovers romance.
There are many, many people who have good reason to want Mackenzie dead. JD must find out which one is acting on it before it’s too late for both of them


Mackenzie wrote a self-help book, Plummet to Soar and became a kind of life-coach. But Mackenzie doesn’t give really good advice, and people get hurt, and he’s sued. He doesn’t know it yet, so he’s ready to give his seminar with his plumeteers in Wisconsin when they get caught up in a snowstorm.

JD is Mackenzie’s editor, and he decided to deliver the bad news face to face. After 2 years of a long relationship that was more than professional online, JD wants to meet Mackenzie and see if what they have online is the same in real life.
But nothing went well. JD didn’t reveal his identity at first, then a big snowstorm cut them from the outside world, and someone wants Mackenzie dead.

It’s the longest weekend of their lives with one goal, survive!
I liked this book, it was special at first, and I wasn’t sure I would understand everything. I was pretty sure that it was a sequel, but nope it wasn’t, and the more I read, the more I enjoyed and understood the story.
The plot is simple, a hotel lost in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm. 8 people, 1 killer and a lot of unknown parameters, but one goal, survive and stop the killer, it’s a kind of a mix between Clue and Agatha Christie.

It’s not the typical romance when the 2 MCs meet and we follow how they fall in love. Here, JD and Mackenzie already know each other, they are already in love with each other, so when they met and JD reveals his identity, they acted like a couple who have been together for years. It was natural for them, and I liked it actually, it’s a change from the usual romance that I read, so I like this in the book.
The writing was good, dynamic, fresh and I can say very fast. We jump from scene to scene, and at first, it can be confusing but soon we get used to it, and it’s interesting, we haven’t time to get bored, not at all, it’s like being in a rollercoaster.

I liked it a lot. It was very refreshing and funny with scenes that were intense and funny with a real comic view of the situation. I won’t forget the scene in the police’s car… (aaaaaaand you want to know right! So read it, and you’ll find out).

I recommend this book; it’s a funny, dynamic and refreshing read.

4 stars for The Plummet, The Cleptoman, and The Plummeteers!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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